Sunday, October 31, 2010

Working on acceptance

I feel like I may have settled into a routine. It has only been a few days, so I'm probably jumping to conclusions by saying that, but still.

My days haven't been so bad, but my nights aren't so great. I think about Jacob during the day, of course, but I don't get to the point of tears. I can act normal and even feel normal, which is pretty amazing. I can have conversations about things that a few months ago I couldn't have done and I can pay attention long enough to follow what is going on when others are talking, in meetings at work, and in movies and TV shows. When I realize that I have been feeling mostly normal, I'm shocked. Sometimes I feel removed from everything that happened, like it happened to someone else that I know very well, but I think about what happened without all of the emotions that usually accompany thoughts of Jacob. It is hard to believe that something so tragic, so life-changing, happened to us.

Things get harder at night, after we have made dinner and settled in for the night. I sit or lay on the couch and it all feels wrong. Millions of thoughts run through my mind but they all center around trying to figure out how Jacob can be gone, just like was he safe and alive and healthy in my belly and then he just died? Did it happen slowly or was it quick? What exactly was I doing when his heart beat for the last time? How can I just be going through my days and nights and when my baby, my son, is dead and his ashes are in a garden that gets really dark at night? I don't like how dark it gets there and it looks so lonely there at night. Soon it will be covered in snow and cold all the time. How can he not be here, being kept warm by me? How is it that I'm going to work and not taking care of him full-time? How is it that I am sleeping through the night and watching a movie and never being interrupted to nurse him or rock him or change his diaper?

I've been thinking these things for months, but those thoughts were always mixed in with so many others and with uncontrollable crying. Now the crying is more controlled. When I lay on the couch or in bed and think these things, I always get tears in my eyes. If I'm in bed with the blanket that he was wrapped in, I imagine him wrapped in the blanket now, safely beside me and smelling his sweet baby smell.

Today we did more unpacking and I picked up a Teddy Bear that Ted got me a few years ago. I absentmindedly picked it up, held it like a baby and started patting its back. When I realized what I was doing, I froze and started to cry. That is exactly how I would have held Jacob and he would have been about the same size. If things were different, I would have been standing in the basement holding him instead of that bear. It just seems so unfair.

The funny thing about my crying spurts lately is that I can turn them off. I don't want Ted to see me crying every time I do it, so I can turn it off if he walks in the room. He still sees me and I have cried with my head on his chest in bed twice in the past week, but I don't want him worrying about me all the time.

I wonder if I am working on acceptance now. Now that he should actually be in my arms and not in my belly, I just have to accept that he never will be in my arms again. I have no choice but to accept it. I seem to be fighting it and I don't want to accept it, but I have to. His absence is everywhere.

My brother-in-law's sister (who lives in Ireland) had her baby 2 days ago. She had a boy, of course. This baby is half-white, half-black too. My sister told me yesterday so that I wouldn't find out on Facebook, which I appreciated. My first thought was "thank God the baby is OK and she is OK". Then I started thinking of all the pictures that I'll be seeing of the baby who is exactly 2 weeks younger than Jacob should have been. Louise has been great since Jacob died, sending me nice messages on Facebook and never mentioning her pregnancy. I think I'll send her some pants that I knit for the baby and a card, but I will have to get someone else to buy the card. It would be just torture looking at all the 'congratulations on your new baby' cards.


Drew's Parents said...

I am sending you so many hugs right now and am thinking about your sweet Jacob. <3 <3 <3 I am so sorry that you are having to work through all of these feelings and emotions rather than the experiences of taking care of your newborn baby. You are so incredibly strong and are making your way through this journey. We may have to accept that our babies aren't in our arms, but we can always hold on to the love we have for them. Jacob's ashes may be in the garden, but his spirit is everywhere. He is with you always. I love you!

Rhiannon said...

I am glad that you are feeling a little better. I think it is something about passing the due date and have to accept that we will never hold our babies again. It still hurts so bad but at least we are starting to feel normal here and there.

You mentioned your brother-in-laws sister who just had a baby and my heart sank. My brother and his girlfriend are getting ready to have their son any day now and I am struggling with it a lot. It will always remind me that Harper should be a month older and remind me of all the things that she should be doing as the days go on.

I am thinking about you a lot and I hope that you have a nice restful night. Sending lots of love to you!

Mrs. Spit said...

Every so often in the midst of my 80 weeks, I look around and I think "it wasn't supposed to be like this. . ."

Thinking of you. Abiding.

Angela said...

I'm glad you are feeling a little better. I'm sorry Jacob isn't here with you. I know I've said it many times before, but I'm going to keep saying it.

All around me family members are expecting babies and it is such a struggle to know they'll most likely have what I want, what I dreamed of. You are so amazing, and so strong, for being able to knit a pair of pants for your brother-in-law's sister's new baby.

Love to you and Jacob.

Sheri said...

It sounds like you are moving towards acceptance. You will never forget him but each day it will hurt a little less and the ache in your heart will become less prominent. Just give it time and give yourself permission to have your moments...

The Wellman's said...

thinking of you. you know doing that exact thing helped me in the beginning (holding the stuffy) we had boughten a stuffed giraffe while pregnant on vacation. For days and days I held it and cried. I wanna cry just thinking of it. My prayers are with you, I know in February I'll be the same way when my sister in law delivers..she is due a couple weeks from my due date as well!

Thinking of you!